Pujya Sri Acharya Ekirala Bharadwaja says in the Sri Guru Charitra that ‘…….human life (is) a search for lasting contentment, peace and bliss and (is) a struggle for complete unfoldment of its vast spiritual potential.’
In my limited view the Acharya has pointed out three paths for achieving these goals. One way is the path of bhakti or devotion. In this regard he has shown us an invaluable sadguru, a saint par excellence, whose biography has been detailed in the Sai Baba the Master authored by the Acharya. He describes Sri Shirdi Sai Baba as being a manifestation of Lord Dattatreya who is a representation of the holy Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar; or in other words- Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution. In him we see an avatar in keeping with the times. In these times religious discord and communal disharmony, of war and strife and decline in humanitarian values, we see a saint who showed through word and deed and many, many divine miracles- the oneness of all beings on this earth. He reinterpreted the religious scriptures so as to be easily implementable by all. His deep love for all creatures won people’s hearts and brought about a remarkable change in their lives and attitudes. Indeed, devotion for such a glorious being as Sri Shirdi Sai Baba springs up spontaneously in our hearts.
The second path is that of meditation. The Acharya authored two books on meditation and its methods- Dhyana Yoga Sarvaswam and Budha Dhyana Hridayam. The first book gives simple ways which can be followed during the course of a day, for focusing our attention and the five senses either on our chosen object of devotion or the One consciousness that pervades all creation. Meditation is a core part in the path towards enlightenment in Buddhism and the Buddha enumerated several methods to increase mindfulness, concentration, tranquility and insight, which are described in the Acahrya’s second book on meditation.
The third way is the art of questioning and searching for the Ultimate Truth or satyanveshna. Edi Nizam deals entirely with this concept. The opening lines of this small but invaluable book are universally pertinent. Any aim or goal needs a complete understanding of the following three components which are : ‘1) The nature of the goal desired (2) Training the mind and thereby the five senses and body in keeping with the goal desired (3) Understand the obstacles in the path of such a training and accordingly overcoming them. ‘
The Acharya has left the choice of the path to be taken to us, and yet, ultimately the goal achieved is only One, that of liberation, which is nothing but everlasting joy